It has come to my attention that even though I read Scarlet AGES ago, and have already read Cress, and am gearing up to read Winter, I still haven’t written a review for Scarlet. Which is a shame, since this book deserves a book review. So here it is, months late but better late than never.
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Okay, first off, I don’t know why this starts off with Cinder, because this book is about Scarlet, through and through. Also, you will want to read Cinder before this, because it picks up right in the action. Scarlet has been raised by her grandmother, and when she goes missing, Scarlet is devastated. She is also determined to find out who kidnapped her grandmother and how she can bring her home. She runs into Wolf, a scary street fighter, and brings her on her team. And together they go off searching for her grandmother, but run into some weird things along the way because Wolf isn’t exactly what he seems. This is story number one.
Then we have Cinder, trying to escape her prison. Because of all the events that happen in Cinder. There are some plot twists here, folks. Be warned.
Lastly we have Prince Kai’s point of view as he tries to stop the evil Levana from taking over Earth. I feel so bad for Kai here, he really is in a hard place. But my dislike of Levana just kept growing. And there were so many times I was like “Kai, wait, please, just a little longer” because I knew something he didn’t. And that was frustrating.
There’s also a hint at a fourth story going on but I can’t really say anything about it.
Some new characters are introduced which I know are going to be a big topic in her next books. There were like multiple enemies here, but one huge one, so it wasn’t too confusing.
One thing I love is that Meyer can combine all these elements together. She is juggling three different stories in this one book, and somehow pulls them all together. It’s a bit stressful as you near the end and just hope they are going to come together, but when they do, it’s magical. It’s so pleasing. And action filed and also a little heartbreaking but what else can you expect.
The pace was top notch. The beginning might have been a little slow but I think it helps, because the world becomes so much more real. Also, Meyer is balancing all three stories in the beginning, so even though it starts off slow you know it’s gonna speed up soon. There were some plot twists here, some pretty huge ones. I guessed the major ones, but 1.) that didn’t detract from my enjoyment in any way and 2.) isn’t that a good thing? That means they didn’t come out of nowhere.
Also I really liked the setting. It was France/Europe and just really fairy tale-esque.
I wasn’t the hugest fan of Cinder to begin with. Scarlet, I feel, was a much more immediately likable character. She was fiery and passionate and won’t let anybody put her in her place. I just really liked her spunk and determination. She goes through so much and still has so much hope. I just really love when a character still has hope.
Wolf is maybe the most precious character I have ever met. That doesn’t seem immediately noticeable, considering his name is Wolf and he’s a big scary street fighter. But I really just want to protect Wolf at all costs. I mean, he hasn’t ever tried a tomato???????? He’s so precious. And his love for Scarlet is maybe the deepest I’ve come across in this series. He will truly protect her at any cost, but sometimes he ends up putting her in more danger when he tries.
Scarlet and Wolf’s romance is pretty underrated I think, in comparison to Cress and Thorne and Kai and Cinder, but I think they need more recognition. One, they are a pretty ultimate hate-to-love, which is always cute. Two, THEY HAVE SO MUCH CHEMISTRY MAN. But also, they have more than chemistry. They share things with each other and connect on a deeper level and I JUST THINK THEY ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN CINDER AND KAI OKAY.
Cinder grew on me in this novel. I still liked reading Scarlet’s perspective more, because her voice seemed fresher, but Cinder didn’t come off as neutral to me. I had some like for her. And she introduces us to Thorne, the funniest character in this entire series. He’s like the lovable idiot. But we all have a lovable idiot in our friend group which I think makes him even more lovable, because we associate our feelings for our real friend with him. He’s an actual goofball, but there when you need him.
Also, I have some mad respect for Scarlet’s grandmother.
Lastly, Levana is PURE EVIL. Besides Dolores Umbridge, I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt such pure dislike and hatred for someone. But some of the stuff she does in this book is absolutely horrible and should never be done. And she does it all so nonchalantly!
I actually liked this book more than Cinder. I think it was the switch in POVs, because I just liked Scarlet more than I liked Cinder. You can feel the story slowly starting to build up, and just know the end of this series is going to be huge and gigantic and completely mind blowing with all the crossover. Even if you felt a little iffy on Cinder, I recommend still reading Scarlet.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Did you like it more than Cinder? Which character is your favorite? Which ship is your favorite? What is your favorite fairytale?